Ex-Trump adviser says phone may have been tapped, without offering proof14 days ago
Carter Page writes to congressional examiners to describe fear, which he suggests would support Donald Trumps claim Trump Tower was wiretapped
A former foreign policy consultant to Donald Trump has written to congressional examiners claiming, without evidence, that his mobile phone may have been tapped last year.
Carter Page, a businessman, suggests this would support the view that the Trump campaign headquarters at Trump Tower in New York was under surveillance, since he works nearby and was a frequent visitor there.
The president has asserted in a series of tweets that Trump Tower was wiretapped by Barack Obama just before the election but did not explain his basis for the allegation, eventually calling for the House and Senate intelligence committees to investigate.
Page, like Trump, has challenged US policy towards Russia and called for warmer relations between the two countries. He visited Moscow last July and December and has not denied gratifying the Russian ambassador to the US during last Julys Republican convention, where the Trump campaign successfully lobbied to fell anti-Russia language from the party platform.
In a letter addressed to Richard Burr and Mark Warner, chairman and vice-chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Page notes media reports that secret court orders were issued last October to allow the FBI to conduct surveillance of US persons in an investigation of possible contacts between Russian banks and the Trump Organization.
Having spoken in favor of some of Mr Trumps policies on other Fox News Group programs during the 2016 campaign as a campaign surrogate and given the peaceful relationship I have had with Russian citizens since my years in the US Navy, it may be understandable why I would be an related political target if such sick activities had indeed been committed as alleged in the previously cited media reports, he writes.
For your datum, I have frequently dined in Trump Grill, had lunch in Trump Caf, had coffee sessions in the Starbucks at Trump Tower, attended events and spend many hours in campaign headquarters on the fifth floor last year. As a sister skyscraper in Manhattan, my office at the IBM Building( 590 Madison Avenue) is literally connected to the Trump Tower building by an atrium.
Page continues: So if prior media reports may be believed that surveillance was indeed undertaken against me and other Trump advocates, it should be essentially deemed as a proved fact that the American people concerns that Trump Tower was under surveillance last year is entirely correct.
He says he keeps his cellphone on at all times except when flying, partly because of a a chronic medical condition that requires permanent access to a particular app.
In what is presumably a reference to the recent publication of documents by WikiLeaks demonstrating the CIA maintains the technical capability to hack customer devices, Page adds: All of this is particularly relevant following recent accusations surrounding surveillance techniques.
The Senate committee will examine Russias interference in the election, which intelligence agencies concluded was carried out to hurt Hillary Clintons campaign, and potential links between Russia and Trumps associates. The panel has asked about a dozen individuals and organisations, including the White House, to conserve relevant materials.
The FBI is also carrying out its own separate investigation. Trump has repeatedly denied any knowledge of improper contacts and the White House has complained about a fake narrative being recycled.
Page, an petroleum and energy industry consultant who has spent significant time in Russia, told the Guardian he would be more than happy to testify to the Senate committee. He admitted that he had no proof that his phone was put under surveillance but denied he was attempting to put up a smokescreen, turning his flame instead on the Clinton campaign.
My phone appears clean to me, he wrote in an email. More to the point and if they were indeed doing a J. Edgar Hoover-style political attack based on my faiths , nothing Ive ever written or said on it could be maybe construed as breaking any U.S. Law … as per the false proof and concocted allegations of the Lying Crooked Hillary campaign.
Over the past year the Trump campaign and administration have issued conflicting statements over its relationship with Page.
Adam Jentleson, senior strategic adviser at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, has argued , referring to one of Pages trips to Moscow , the change to the RNC platform and the first batch of DNC emails from WikiLeaks : Two weeks in July 2016 prove why Page could be such an important piece of the puzzle.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
Bikers for Trump: ‘He’ll get my election because he’s off his goddamn rocker’15 days ago
Ahead of the New Hampshire primary, Adam Gabbatt went to the Chop Shop Pub in Seabrook and found out that the locals dont mince words when asked why theyre rooting for The Donald
Theres a guy here whos not like us.
It is Super Bowl night at the Chop Shop Pub, a biker bar in Seabrook, New Hampshire. Bill The Boss Niland is addressing the crowd over a microphone. They call him the Boss because he is the boss of the bar.
He talks funny, Bill continues.
The clientele look at each other, wondering who this interloper could be. Im standing near the front. Im curious too. I look over my shoulder.
His names Adam, Bills says. He is talking about me. He calls up here and says: Do we have any bikers here?
This is true, I did.
Well, do we?
There are cheers and calls of: Yes!
The Boss drawn attention to me. Hes with the Guardian, he says. He has a thick New England accent and it definitely sounds like Gahhhhhdian.
I wave. There are a couple of cheers.
Im at the Chop Shop to mingle with some bikers ahead of Tuesdays primary. New Hampshire has the second most motorcycles per capita of all 50 nations, so I would be remiss not to expend some time with the biker demographic. The bar is a one-story house with a small fish pond in the entryway region. There are nine gnomes all over the pond and several goldfish in the pond. There is also a skull in it.
How will educational status affect the US election result?16 days ago
White voters without a college degree partially make up Trumps support base, while Democrats increasingly rely on non-white voters and people with degrees
The longer an American has stayed in school, the more likely he or she is to register to vote and to cast a ballot on election day.
At one extreme, in the 2012 presidential election just 21.6% of adults who left school before ninth grade voted. At the other, according to statistics from the Census Bureau, 74.7% of adults who had an advanced degree voted. Though the precise numbers may not be known, observers are aware of the link between education and voting its one of the clearest correlations in political behavior research.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
The world comes to terms with President-elect Donald Trump1 month, 1 day ago
London( CNN) If the world had had a election, polling indicated Hillary Clinton would be the American President-elect.
Trump’s rise and Brexit vote are more an outcome of culture than economics1 month, 3 days ago
Populists are tapping into the outrage of those who have been losing the cultural battles over race, gender and social identity in a globalised world
If Donald Trump loses the US election, will the tide of populism that threatened to overwhelm the world after the Brexit vote in June begin to wane? Or will the revolt against globalisation and immigration simply take another form?
The rise of protectionism and anti-immigrant sentiment in Britain, America, and Europe is widely believed to reflect stagnant incomes, widening inequality, structural unemployment, and even excessive monetary easing. But there are several reasons to question the link between populist politics and economic distress.
Most populist voters are neither poor nor unemployed; they are not victims of globalisation, immigration, and free trade. The main demographic groups behind the anti-establishment upsurge have been people outside the workforce: pensioners, middle-aged homemakers, and men with low educational qualifications receiving disability payments.
In Britain, where detailed analyses of the votes actually cast in the Brexit referendum are now available, the group most directly affected by low-wage competition from immigrants and Chinese imports people under 35 voted against Brexit by a wide margin, 65% to 35%. Meanwhile, 60% of pensioners who voted backed the leave campaign, as did 59% of voters with disabilities. By contrast, 53% of full-time workers who participated wanted Britain to remain in Europe, as did 51% of part-time workers.
The British data suggest that cultural and ethnic attitudes, not direct economic motivations, are the real distinguishing features of anti-globalisation voting. Asked whether social liberalism is a force for good or a force for ill, 87% of remain voters said it was a force for good, while 53% of Leave voters called liberalism a force for ill. On multiculturalism, the difference was even starker 65% of leave voters were against it, while 86% of remainers approved. Another analysis published by the BBC after the referendum found one of the strongest predictors of a leave vote to be support for capital punishment.
In America, polls suggest that gender is an even more important indicator of support for Trump than age or education. Early this month, when Trump was only a few points behind Clinton in overall support, a Washington Post/ABC poll compared voting intentions with the 2012 election. It found not only that white men backed Trump by a margin of 40 percentage points, but also that their support for Trump was 13 points higher that it was for Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee.
White women, by contrast, marginally supported Clinton and had swung by 15 percentage points against the Republicans. Among voters without a college education, the gender difference was even starker: less-educated white men favored Trump by a 60% margin and had swung in favor of the Republicans by 28 percentage points, while women had swung by 10 percentage points in the opposite direction and only marginally supported Trump.
It seems, therefore, that the conflicts generally ascribed to economic grievances and globalisation are actually the latest battles in the culture wars that have split western societies since the late 1960s. The main relevance of economics is that the 2008 financial crisis created conditions for a political backlash by older, more conservative voters, who have been losing the cultural battles over race, gender, and social identity.
The dominance of free-market ideology before the crisis allowed many controversial social changes, ranging from income inequality and intensified wage competition to greater gender equality and affirmative action, to go almost unchallenged. Progressive social liberalism and conservative free-market economics seemed to be two sides of the same coin. But when free-market economic liberalism failed in the 2008 crisis, political challenges to social liberalism could no longer be deflected by invoking impersonal economic laws.
But if social change can no longer be legitimised as the necessary condition for economic progress, it seems unlikely that democracies will now vote to reinstate the social conditions before the ascendancy of economic liberalism and globalisation. Racial and gender equality are now backed by clear majorities in the US, Britain, and most European countries, and even apparently popular policies such as trade protectionism and strict immigration controls rarely muster more than 30-40% support in opinion surveys. Why, then, did Brexit win, and why is it still possible that Donald Trump will be the next US President?
Both Brexit and Trump were powered by an unstable alliance between two very different, even contradictory, movements. The bulk of their supporters were indeed social conservatives and protectionists who wanted to undo the social changes that began in the late 1960s.
Two of the most effective slogans of the Brexit and Trump campaigns have been Take back control and I want my country back. But the social conservatives inspired by such atavistic and authoritarian sentiments do not make up majorities in any western country. On its own, social conservatism could never mobilise more than 30-40% of voters. To achieve majorities, the socially conservative protectionists had to unite with the remnants of the Thatcher-Reagan laissez faire movement, who resent the interventionist economic management of the post-2008 period and want to intensify the competition, deregulation, and globalisation that social conservatives resent.
This unstable political compound is now dissolving in the US, and also in Britain, where prime minister Theresa Mays government is divided between ideological nationalists and economic liberals. If the US election on 8 November confirms Trumps failure to bind social conservatives and economic liberals into a winning coalition, similar disintegration is likely among European populists, too.
In that case, the Brexit vote will begin to look like an aberration not the start of a powerful new trend toward nationalism, protectionism, and de-globalisation, but the end of a backlash against modernity by an unstable alliance of social authoritarians and laissez faire market liberals. It will be the last gasp of an ageing generation that tried to impose its nostalgic parochialism on an increasingly cosmopolitan younger generation, but succeeded in only one unfortunate country.
- Anatole Kaletsky is chief economist and co-chair of Gavekal Dragonomics. A former columnist at the Times, the International New York Times and the Financial Times, he is the author of Capitalism 4.0, The Birth of a New Economy.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
19 Ordinary People Tell Their Tales Of Meeting Donald Trump That Might Actually Surprise You1 month, 3 days ago
Rand Paul celebrates Festivus with ‘airing of grievances’ against 2016 rivals1 month, 9 days ago
Kentucky senator and presidential hopeful turns to Seinfeld-inspired tradition to vent about Donald Trumps Yiddish and Marco Rubios absenteeism
As families across the US come together in joy two days before Christmas, Rand Paul has chosen instead to tweet out his annual list of Festivus Grievances. As the Kentucky senator explained last year, thats what Festivus is for.
The presidential candidate is celebrating the season, as is his tradition, with a cathartic venting of feelings on social media under the hashtag #Festivus, which references the fictional holiday popularised by the sitcom Seinfeld.
But now that Paul is running for president, he is taking special care to direct his grievances against his GOP opponents.
Where to start but @realDonaldTrump, Paul began. If u bring the Yiddish, know what it means. Guess thats more of a kvetch than a grievance.
Next, fellow Senator Ted Cruz came under Pauls Festivus fire, with a thinly veiled reference to birther-truthism over Cruzs Canadian roots:
Paul hit out at each of his rivals in turn: at Carson for his mumbling, at Christie for his support of the Dallas Cowboys, at Jeb Bush for his awkwardness. Paul even hit out at Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, for toilet breaks and socialism respectively.
Florida senator Marco Rubio came under particular fire, for his low turnout record in the Senate while hes been campaigning:
In the spirit of the season, Paul also released his Waste Reports Airing Of Grievances: Festivus 2015, a report from the Senate homeland security and governance subcommittee on federal spending, which Paul chairs.
Happy Festivus! the report begins. Once again, the federal government found new and inventive ways to waste the tax dollars of hard-working Americans this year.
The report, which claims to have identified $1,026,957,650 in wasteful spending, took the government to task for more than 30 programs it considered frivolous, including paying for a community college to develop a curriculum of winemaking studies (an $853,000 grant to Washington community colleges, according to the report) and federal agencies spending money on yoga instructors for employees.
The report also slammed the Pentagon for spending $43m on a compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station in Afghanistan.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
WATCH: Chris Matthews pins Trump’s Jerusalem decision on ‘crazy’ Alabama Christians1 month, 10 days ago
President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. embassy to that city has MSNBC’s Chris Matthews losing his mind again:
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews blames’ crazy’ Evangelical Christians in Alabama for Trump’s decision on Jerusalem, claims they don’t understand the situation in Israel because they have “mythical” notions .[?] pic.twitter.com/ Nz59Mli2Pb
— Ryan Saavedra (@ RealSaavedra) December 6, 2017
Hopefully the Democrat let Matthews lead their effort to win back red states next year!
— David Alvord (@ davealvord1 64) December 6, 2017
Keep junking rural Christians and you’ll guaranty Trump’s second word. https :// t.co/ 9orRPaZZCK
— Angela Morabito (@ AngelaLMorabito) December 6, 2017if(( window.__aa_fraud_serve === undefined) ||( window.__aa_fraud_serve == true)) googletag.cmd.push( function() googletag.display( “div-gpt-3 00 x250_1” ); );
Tulane frat builds pro-Trump wall, receives backlash from students1 month, 12 days ago
Donald Trump said he wanted a wall and now he’s got one.
The Kappa Alpha Order at Tulane University upheld an annual tradition of building a sandbag wall around its fraternity home. But this year students added a political touch by tagging the wall with Make America Great Again and Trump in huge, spray-painted letters.
A photo circulating Facebook and Redditshows typical college dudes in typical frat garb( i.e. shirtless, ball caps, etc .) posing in front of their house to show off something that surely their pledges should take the real credit for.
In a statement emailed to the Daily Dot, a Tulane spokesperson was of the view that the Trump tie-in was intended to satirize his campaign slogan 😛 TAGEND
Every spring the Kappa Alpha( KA) fraternity erects a wall around its chapter home, which is on private property. The the leading role of KA’s local chapter says that adding Donald Trump’s name and slogan to this year’s wall was done in order to satirize the candidate’s campaign promise , not to present support for him. The wall has all along dismantled .
But the student body was apparently not in on the joke.
Campus Latino communities in particular instantly took to social media to express their annoyance. Tulane Jewish surveys student Dillon Prez posted this message out to his peers and groups on Facebook and included photographs of the brotherhood home 😛 TAGEND
…hey built a wall fitted with connotations of loathe and ignorance, immediately mocking the experiences of Latino immigrants and workers throughout our nation. By writing “TRUMP” in big, red letters across their wall, KA changed what was a tradition of constructing a wall into a tradition of constructing a border, symbolizing separation and xenophobia. This issue not only affects Latinos but all other marginalized immigrant groups in this country .
The wall had stood since Thursday, having been consecutively built and taken down.
Kappa Alpha does this tradition every year to guard the Confederate flag that the chapter is not allowed to display in public. But the brothers have never used it to make a direct political statement.
Concerned students began reaching out to Prez as the student leader of Making Excellence Now and Tomorrow in Education( GENTE ,) a group dedicated to building campus more welcoming for “Latinos, Hispanics, and Iberian descendants.”
“This is the first time anything has been written on this wall targeting students. Understanding the ramifications, it stimulates us feel entirely unwelcome and unsafe on this campus, ” Prez told the Daily Dot.
Shortly after the wall was erected, a videosince removed by the userbegan circulating indicating a group of young men, allegedly Tulane football players, taking the wall down. Prez said this is how some students have been responding to the statement.
After GENTE’s meeting Monday night, students took to Facebook to uncover the the wall, hoping it would go viral to raise awareness about the many race-related issues students work against at Tulane. Just two weeks ago, GENTE met with Kappa Alpha to address the racial implications behind its annual Old South event, where the chapter commemorates Robert E. Lee, among other Confederate traditions.
“We want answers to why those havent been addressed and create a better dialogue and create the positive developments, ” Prez said. “Millions “of migrants ” built this city, built this campus, and rebuilt the walls of the streets where put up this wall and are still not going anywhere.”
Kappa Alpha did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump’s UK visit dishonors Theresa May. The protests must be huge | Matthew d’Ancona1 month, 13 days ago
The chairmen brutality in dividing immigrant children from their families should not be forgotten when he arrives, says Guardian columnist Matthew dAncona
This is the week of Angelica Gonzalez-Garcia and her daughter. You will probably not have heard of them, and your mind may be on other things right now- the World Cup, avoiding heatstroke, Wimbledon, Brexit. But do search for them online, and watch Gonzalez-Garcia, a 31 -year-old Guatemalan refugee from domestic violence, being reunited at Boston’s Logan airport with the eight-year-old, 55 days after they were separated without explain at an Arizona detention centre.
She was told at the time by immigration officers that she would” never see” her daughter again. Indeed, that vicious prediction might have come true, had her suit not been taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union and two law firms. The footage of the reunion is hard to watch: it builds you feel a strange combining of relief, fury and species dishonor.” Forgive me, my darling, for leaving you alone ,” she says to her daughter as they clutch one another.” Forgive me. I didn’t want to .”
When Donald Trump arrives in Britain on Thursday, recollect those words and his responsibility for the abject pain that underpins them. There are still about 3,000 immigrant children separated from their families because of this man’s lazy wickedness. Remember those words when he is being flattered by ministers in black tie at Blenheim Palace, or when he is at Chequers, or Windsor Castle to meet the Queen.
Shame on the prime minister for permitting this trip to go ahead. The shaky pragmatic case for welcoming the US president to these coasts evaporated last August, when he insisted that there were” very fine people” among the neo-Nazis at Charlottesville. At that moment he departed overtly from one of the founding principles of the modern liberal democratic order: namely that nazism was, and still is, a uniquely awful ideology. This is a supranational orthodoxy. Trump’s unembarrassed deviation from it required a meaningful sanction. Yes, I know that many repellent dictators and dictators have paid official visits to this country: we hold our collective nose, proceed with protocol, and hope that the national interest will be served by pragmatism, rather than principle.
All the more reason, then, to think about the manner in which they are conducted. There has long been a propensity on the far left to romanticise what EP Thompson called ” the moral economy of the English crowd” and to see this as a blank cheque for disorder. More recently, a new and pernicious creed has taken hold- that unacceptable or “problematic” speech constitutes a form of violence and a justification for the pre-emptive use of force. I can imagine this axiom being used by British Antifa protesters as an excuse for pointless exhibitions of force this week.
Strength, dignity and wit: these should be the hallmarks of the protests. The Trump baby blimp is both magnificently British in its surreal scale and perfect for a president who, unlike Barack Obama and George W Bush, absence any sense of self-irony. London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, who has traversed swords with the president more than once, deserves our thanks for allowing Hairpiece One to drift over the capital.
Remember, too, that Trump is primarily concerned with showbusiness and ratings. That is how he won the White House, and why he was so particularly furious that more people attended Obama’s first inauguration than his own. He is a product of, and preoccupied by, sight. So nothing would delight him more than for this week’s protests to degenerate into violence. Such images would support his claim that Britain is a crime-infested nation on the brink of social breakdown. In contrast, a huge rally, proud, peaceful and strong, through the world’s greatest city would send a powerful signal that, whatever the British prime minister may do, Britons do not kowtow to this terrible man, or accept his brutal populism.
I am reminded of the late Paul Monette’s instruction:” Go without hate, but not without rage. Heal the world .” That is a good maxim for life. And especially so in the next few days. Remember: this is the week of Angelica Gonzalez-Garcia and her daughter.
* Matthew d’Ancona is a Guardian columnist
* Join our Guardian Live event at the Greenwood Theatre in London on 9 July, as Guardian columnists Owen Jones and Jonathan Freedland, Stella Creasy MP, American comedian Desiree Burch, Republican commentator Jan Halper-Hayes, and Anywhere But Washington’s Paul Lewis will debate Donald Trump’s impending UK visit
Read more: www.theguardian.com